Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Matt Waxman wins WSOP Circuit main event

The World Series of Poker Circuit main event wrapped up at Harrah's on Tuesday.

Florida's Matt Waxman won the event taking home almost $118K.

Here's more from Poker News.

Matthew ‘Poligraph’ Waxman has won the WSOP Circuit main event championship at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. The 25-year-old Florida poker pro has found plenty of success online, including winning the FTOPS XIII Main Event in 2009 for $453,663, but Tuesday’s WSOP Circuit finish marked his first win in a major live tournament. The $117,797 first-place prize pushes his career winnings over the $1 million mark.

A total of 352 players entered the $1,650 buy-in main event. On the third and final day of play Waxman arrived at the final table with 1,334,000 in chips, narrowly trailing chip leader Brandon Croft’s 1,397,000. Croft never got anything going and ended up falling in 8th place.

When play reached heads up, it was Waxman against Jesus Cabrera. Waxman had the early chip lead, but Cabrera doubled up a couple of times, including one hand in which his A-9 outdrew Waxman’s A-K. But Waxman kept chipping away to reestablish his chip lead. On the final hand it appeared Cabrera would double up again when he got all in with pocket 6s against Waxman’s pocket 3s. However, a 3 on he flop changed things, and Waxman held on to win the hand and the tournament.

Waxman earned $117,797, a WSOP Circuit championship ring, and a seat into the WSOPC Circuit $1,000,000 freeroll national championship event that will take place at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in May of 2011.

Poker action will continue at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City this week with the nationally televised $10,000 Northeast Regional Championship beginning Sunday, Dec. 19, at 11 a.m.

Here’s a look at the main event final table results

1. Matthew Waxman – $117,797
2. Jesus Cabrera – $72,824
3. Mark Sykes – $53,126
4. Chris Bonita – $39,406
5. Dave Cubeta – $29,685
6. Mike Summers – $22,704
7. Tam Ly – $17,618
8. Brandon Croft – $13,869
9. Manish Patel – $11,073


Monday, December 13, 2010

Did Harrah's mess up the WSOPC schedule?

ESPN's Andrew Feldman posted recently about the World Series of Poker Circuit event in Atlantic City.

Feldman had high hopes for the event - and for the record, haw drawn very well - especially after seeing how the WSOPC did in Hammond.

But Feldman thinks there was screw up in the scheduling and Harrah's could have done a better job.

Before the second of four $10,000 Regional Championships on the 2010-2011 WSOPC season, Harrah's Atlantic City $1,650 buy-in main event attracted 352 players to become the second-largest WSOP Circuit main event this year. Sounds great, right? Well, maybe. The WSOPC Hammond main event recruited 872 players before the first Regional Championship and in turn, created a field of 226 for the $10,000 event.

Hopes were high after Hammond that we'd see a great turnout in Atlantic City and in attendance, yes, they've got it compared with 2009 for the "main event." When the highlighted tournament was a $5,150 event last year, 195 players bought in and created a prize pool of $926,835. We'll have to wait to see where the $10,000 event falls as the main event reached only $561,776. Numbers aside, I have one major issue with this stop of the WSOPC: The $10,000 event in Hammond began three days after the $1,600 event; in Atlantic City, the $10,000 event begins a week after the $1,650 event.

Talk about killing all momentum.

It's possible that the staff in Atlantic City wanted to allow players the chance to come back from APPT Sydney or EPT Prague, but let's be serious, that's only an excuse I'm going to throw in their direction. This is a big mistake on their part. Traveling to tournaments isn't cheap and if you can convince players to go for two tournaments instead of one, they'll be more likely to see that the trip is worthwhile. In this case, players either had to decide to fly out for the $1,650 and stay in A.C. for a week or fly in next weekend for the higher buy-in tournament. There are some who definitely stayed for both, but you'll see an influx of different players in town next weekend ready to play in a nationally televised event. There was the opportunity to capitalize on the added excitement a televised tournament brings and this schedule just didn't do the trick. Make the $1,650 a couple days before the $10,000 and see numbers rise in both tournaments. I don't doubt that we're going to see a bigger turnout in this $10,000 compared with the Hammond $10,000, but I think that the WSOPC could've made more out of one of the bigger poker locations in the world.

As for the tournament, just over three dozen remain looking for the $117,797 top prize and notables among them include Matt Glantz, Josh Brikis, Ari Engel, Mike Leah and Chris Tryba. Thirty-six players will make the money.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Borgata announces 2011 Winter Poker Open schedule

Borgata has announced the Borgata Winter Poker Open 2011 Main Event schedule.

Event 1 (Jan 19-20): $500 + $60 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)
Event 2 (Jan 20-21): $300 + $50 No Limit Hold'em (1 Re-Entry)
Event 3 (Jan 20): $300 + $50 Limit Hold'em
Event 4 (Jan 21-22): $500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em
Event 5 (Jan 21-22): $400 + $50 Omaha H/L 8B
Event 6 (Jan 22-23): $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em
Event 7 (Jan 22): $350 + $50 No Limit Hold'em (1 Re-Entry)
Event 8 (Jan 23-24): $400 + $50 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em
Event 9 (Jan 23-24): $260 + $40 Ladies No Limit Hold'em
Event 10 (Jan 24): $300 + $50 Deep Stack Semi-Turbo No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)
Event 11 (Jan 24-25): $300 + $50 Pot Limit Omaha - High
Event 12 (Jan 25-27): $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)
Event 13 (Jan 25-26): $350 + $50 Seniors No Limit Hold'em
Event 14 (Jan 26-27): $350 + $50 7-Card Stud
Event 15 (Jan 27-28): $2000 + $150 Heads Up Double Elimination
Event 16 (Jan 27): $260 + $40 Deep Stack No Limit Hold'em
Event 17 (Jan 27-28): $500 + $60 H.O.S.E.
Event 18 (Jan 28-29): $1850 + $150 No Limit Hold'em
Event 19 (Jan 28): $300 + $50 No Limit Hold'em
Event 20 (Jan 29): $1000 + $90 No Limit Hold'em (6-Max)
Event 21 (Jan 30-Feb 4): $3300 + $200 Borgata Winter Poker Open Championship
Event 22 (Jan 31): $500 + $60 No Limit Hold'em
Event 23 (Feb 1): $300 + $50 No Limit Hold'em
Event 24 (Feb 2): $170 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (2 Re-Entry)
Event 25 (Feb 3): $260 + $40 No Limit Hold'em (1 Re-Entry)
Event 26 (Feb 4): $200 + $30 No Limit Hold'em (1 Re-Entry)


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Borgata STUD Bad Beat hit this weekend

It's not secret that I absolutely love seven-card stud. It's by far my favorite poker game. I loved when the Borgata decided to promote the game and try to get more players.

For the record, I'm not 70 years old either.

The stud bad-beat jackpot was hit at the Borgata. Here's more from Borgata's poker site:

WSOP Circuit stop sets tournament record at Harrah's

Even while headlines of Atlantic City's doom hang over the city, poker tournament continue to do well in the resort.

It was proven again on Saturday when Harrah's Resort set a new attendance record for the casino in the World Series of Poker circuit event. Saturday's $300 buy-in saw 1,250 participants, breaking the 2008 mark of 1,181.

A $363,750 prize pool was raised for the event.

“We’re really excited for having set this record,” said Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City Poker Director John Arthur. “We got it right this year with the structures and everything else we have put into place for the Circuit and hope to continue having great numbers through the rest of the series.”

Christopher Rivers of Atlanta won the event and he took home $64,565.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Annie Duke will be at Harrah's for WSOP

Annie Duke will be coming back to Harrah's Resort to support the World Series of Poker Circuit event, according to poker blog The Real Deal.

Duke will make an appearance at the tournament at 6 p.m. and then follow with a Q&A on Dec. 10.

On Saturday, Dec. 11, Duke will play cash games in the poker room starting at 11 a.m.

The last time she played at Harrah's, Duke played in a $2/$4 and it's likely she will play there again. Harrah's brass probably don't want to rile up the no-limit players who may get cranky if she wins a big pot off of them. This way, she entertains the low-limit players and everyone walks away happy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

U.S. Poker Championship kicks off at the Taj

U.S. Poker Championship kicks off in Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The 2010 United States Poker Championship is back for another series of tournaments and being held in the Poker Room at Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort from November 1 through 22, 2010. The USPC will be televised for broadcast in 2011.

Compass Entertainment recently announced that it has reached an agreement to begin first-run syndication of the United States Poker Championship at Trump Taj Mahal. The main event of the 2009 USPC began airing on October 5, 2010 through major satellite and cable networks including a November run on Spike TV. Compass Entertainment Group is a multi-media company whose rights and holdings include the casino lifestyle magazine "Rounder," and the World Series of Golf. Viewers should consult their local provider guides for local times and channels.

Register for all poker tournaments in advance trough or at the Trump Taj Mahal Poker Room.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Earn 2X comp dollars playing poker at Borgata


Play a minimum of 30 hours during the month of November at the following game limits:


and earn 2X Comp Dollars
(up to a maximum additional $300 Comp Dollars)
Comp Dollar will be available to redeem 12/6 - 12/30/2010.

Once redeemed, the Comp Dollars will be loaded onto your account (and will expire 180 days from day loaded to account).

Use your Comp Dollars for food, drink, rooms, etc.

2X Comp Dollars based on primary limit played during month (i.e., played 40 hours at $10-$20 and 10 hours at $20-$40. will receive 2X on 40 hours at $10-$20)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Borgata Poker November Promotions

Throughout the month of November, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will offer the following promotions for Stud poker games:

  • 100% Borgata Funded Stud Bad Beat Jackpot
  • 2X Comp Dollars for Stud Live Action games
  • $20,000 Guaranteed Stud Tournaments
    o Sunday, November 7 at 1P: $100 Buy-In + $20 Entry ($5,000 Guaranteed)
    o Sunday, November 14 at 1P: $100 Buy-In + $20 Entry ($5,000 Guaranteed)
    o Sunday, November 21 at 1P: $100 Buy-In + $20 Entry ($5,000 Guaranteed)
    o Sunday, November 28 at 1P: $100 Buy-In + $20 Entry ($5,000 Guaranteed)
  • $1,000 Stud Free Roll Poker Tournaments
    o Sunday, October 31 at 1P
    o Monday, November 1 at 1P
    o Tuesday, November 2 at 1P
    o Wednesday, November 3 at 1P

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Qualify for Harrah's free roll tournament in December

Qualify November 1 - 30, 2010

Play a combined total of 50 hours or more of rated live poker in any Harrah's property in Atlantic City.

To increase your chances of taking the top prize, play your favorite poker room like you mean it:

50-79 hours of play earns you 10,000 chips
80-99 hours of play earns you 12,000 chips
100+ hours of play earns you 15,000 chip

First place is a $10,000 cash prize and 200 places are paid.

The list of qualifiers will be posted in all Total Rewards Poker Rooms on December 11, 2010.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Borgata starting up with late-night tournaments - again

Borgata's Late Night Tournaments have resumed this week.

$80 Buy-In + $20 Enty No Limit Hold'em

Every Wednesday and Friday at 11:30PM

* 10,000 in starting chips
* Levels last 20 minutes

Check Late Night Structures

Check complete Daily Tournament Schedule


Sunday, October 03, 2010

WSOP Circuit event at Harrah's in December

Harrah's resort will host the World Series of Poker circuit event December 4-22 as it has for the several years, the Real Deal blog had on its website last week.

The super regional event is a $10,000 by-in ($9,700+$300).

I question the timing and the buy-in of the event. With the event being held right before Christmas and the amount of money it would cost to participate in this event, Harrah's is alienating many of its local players. I expect a small turnout for the super regional.

There could be some big name players, but the winter on the East Coast isn't really a favorite place to be especially considering how terrible the winter was last season.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Borgata: $250K Deep Stack Double Play

October 17 - 19, 2010 in Poker Room

Day 1A - Sunday, October 17 at 11 A.M.
Day 1B - Monday, October 18 at 11 A.M.
Day 2 - Tuesday, October 19 at 11 A.M.

Play in Day 1A, Day 1B or Both*


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

AC Press: Professional poker players find careers in the cards at Atlantic City gaming tables

Before Joe Simmons sits in on a game at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, before he grabs his chips from the cashier, Simmons scouts out the poker room.

The 45-year-old Brigantine resident looks at chip stacks, pot sizes and familiar faces. He looks for known bad players, those he does not recognize and the least number of headphones. He wants that game.

Simmons doesn’t want to play against decent regulars. He’d rather hit up the tourists. He is one of dozens — possibly hundreds — of professional poker players in the resort.

Simmons doesn’t flaunt his job or talk about the daily grind at the table. Instead, he focuses on the players around him. He makes early assumptions based on a person’s demeanor and the amount of chips a player has.

Does he look mad? Did he just lose a big pot? Did she just say she’s getting sleepy? Did that player just tip the dealer extra money? She sure knows a lot of chip tricks. He played that hand tricky.

All of these thoughts add up as Simmons creates profiles for the other players in the game.

“You don’t know if someone is just lucky or good until you have played with them,” he said. “It’s better to assume they know what they’re doing until you find out they don’t. That’s when you go after them.”

Simmons wakes up never knowing whether he’s going to get paid that day. Unlike most people with “regular” jobs, Simmons and other professional poker players could lose money after a day of work.

“I saw all the money out there, and it seemed like people were just giving it away for awhile,” said Simmons, who has $828,164 in career tournament winnings. “The money can be very good at times, but people don‘t realize how hard it is to do this every day.”

The poker boom began in 2003, when Chris Moneymaker, a regular guy with no pro experience, won the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas. He became an instant celebrity and millionaire. His win gave legitimacy to poker as not just a shady back-room card game.

Poker became mainstream almost overnight. It brought housewives, lawyers and college students to the table looking for that same success.

Simmons, who created music and managed bands such as The Roots, got involved right away. He felt poker’s popularity was about to take off, and he didn’t want to miss it even if some family members didn’t agree.

“My mother never liked me playing poker,” Simmons said. “Even when I was making a lot of money, she never agreed with it.”

Poker involves psychology, skill and luck. It combines the rush of gambling with elements of strategy.

And then there’s the money.

“I saw how much money people were making on TV, and I wanted to try it out,” said poker pro Dwyte Pilgrim, 28, of Brooklyn, N.Y., who made his name playing tournaments in Atlantic City. “I saw I was good,” Pilgrim said. “I was the best out of my friends.”

To prove it, Pilgrim won $733,402 on Thursday at the Borgata Poker Open, a World Poker Tour event.

Atlantic City has been the proving ground for popular players such as Phil Ivey, 34, a Roselle, Union County, native who now lives in Las Vegas and is considered one of the best poker players of all time. He got his start at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, which was featured in the poker movie “Rounders.”

But the game also has chased away people who couldn’t handle the lifestyle. So many of them didn’t realize how big the ups and downs could be or how depressing losing feels.

Choosing poker as a career

Most area professional poker players say they started with a dream of winning a huge tournament like the ones they see on television. They all thought about what it would be like to be their own boss. It’s so easy to be caught in the spectacle of poker, with the money and freedom it can afford, but the leap is not easy to make.

Pilgrim made the move after testing his abilities for several months playing poker on the Internet and traveling to Atlantic City from Brooklyn on the weekends. Even though he was winning, he didn’t want to quit his job as a loan officer.

Pilgrim would leave guaranteed money and benefits to go to a world where he wouldn’t have either.

After months of talking to confidantes, he finally made the jump in 2007. He spent six days a week at the Taj Mahal, and on the seventh day he returned to New York. He earned comps and free rooms playing poker, and lived out of a suitcase.

Pilgrim switched to Harrah’s Resort in 2008, when he decided to focus on tournaments over cash games, where each player‘s own money is at stake as opposed to a tournament with a prize pool.

“I was looking for a bigger payday,” said Pilgrim in a phone interview from Indiana. “On a good day in a cash game, you can win a thousand, but in a tournament, if you get hot, you can win thousands.”

Those big scores in a cash game are rare in Atlantic City for most pros. There aren’t many big-stakes games. The resort is littered with $1-$2 and $2-$5 no-limit hold ’em games (the numbers represent the price of the small and big blinds, forced bets by the two players to the left of the dealer position). But the higher the blinds, the fewer games are available because casual players don’t want to put large amounts of money at stake.

If a person thinks about going pro, he or she has to think about losing. Sure, the money is good when you’re winning, but what happens when you’re not?

“The toughest part is the down swings,” Pilgrim said. “Anyone can handle winning, but it’s how you handle the losing that separates the good players.”

Dealing with down swings

Simmons knows about those swings probably better than most.

Since 2003, he has gone broke twice.

He lost his money the first time by playing too big. He sat in on a $150-$300 mixed game (where different games are played in a rotation) at Borgata. He had enough for a buy-in, but the other players just had more money in general.

Simmons played against those with millions of dollars behind them, while he had a bankroll worth a few hundred thousand.

It was easy for his opponents to call bets even if they didn’t have the right odds and Simmons had a favorable hand. Money wasn’t a problem for them.

“These guys were playing bad, and I knew it,” Simmons said. “But there is still some gambling going on. There is still luck, and there was a time when I was just unlucky for a long time. That happens.”

In early 2006, he went broke chasing his money. Eventually, he had to play smaller stakes and grind out another bankroll.

Simmons earned his money back cashing big in tournaments in 2007. He won more than $500,000 in a seven-month span, including $387,709 with a fourth-place finish in the Borgata Poker Open championship.

With all that money rushing into his bank account, he took advantage of the windfall.

He rented a $2,500-per-month apartment in Center City, Philadelphia, invested $50,000 each in two companies and went back to playing the bigger games.

Eventually, Simmons’ savings took a hit and dwindled. The two companies — a music studio and a salon — both failed. The rent ate away at his savings, and he once again hit a bad streak.

“You lose so much money, and you can’t even think straight,” Simmons said.

He was broke again.

“I’m not mad that I didn’t buy a house. So many people told me I should have done that,” Simmons said. “I wished I would have put money away for my kids and my parents.”

Simmons, who has a 13-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter in Philadelphia, moved to a cheaper place in Brigantine to be closer to the casinos. He then borrowed $2,000 each from 10 different poker regulars to get his bankroll back.

He played in smaller games, such as $2-$5 no-limit, and had to deal with questions about why he was playing lower limits.

“I was embarrassed,” he said. “I didn’t know what to tell people at the time. I hated when people asked me that.”

Simmons hit a big share of a bad-beat jackpot at Borgata earlier this year worth more than $80,000. He paid back his loans and is now working on making sure his money isn’t all in one place.

He’s working on a poker website ( and is back to creating music at his home studio.

“These kinds of swings could happen to anyone,” Simmons said. “So many people told me how that happened to them. I learned a lot and not how to do that again.”

Not enough for some

Depending on the stakes, a poker player can average $500 to several thousand dollars a week in cash. There are no tax forms on cash games because there is no way for casinos to determine how much a person won or lost in a single session. However, the casino informs the IRS of tournament winnings and bad-beat jackpots in cash games.

Most poker players go to work for an eight-hour shift and take a food break in the middle. But it’s not all-in moves and a constant barrage of betting throughout the night.

Jason Hague, 30, moved to Atlantic City from Trenton to play poker while he was between jobs. There were nights he sat in on games where he was bored out of his mind — because there are nights when the action is just not there.

Those nights, Hague listened to his iPod or chatted to the person next to him. However, he still had to pay attention or he would have watched his chips slide into someone else’s stack.

This is when he had the advantage.

“Boredom makes a lot of people make mistakes,” said Hague, who normally played after 7 p.m. “I noticed when people got tired, they didn’t think right. Those were times I waited for, to take advantage.”

Hague has a bachelor’s degree from The College of New Jersey and realized there was absolutely nothing he wanted to do with it.

Playing poker wasn’t the dream either, but he was good at it. He moved to Absecon and played poker until he got a job as a poker dealer at the Showboat Casino Hotel.

“It’s too scary to just play cards,” said Hague, who recently moved to Bethlehem, Pa., to take a job as a poker supervisor at the Sands Casino. “While there is a lot of skill involved, there’s just too much luck involved to feel comfortable.”

Hague remembers nights he played at Caesars Atlantic City before he got a job and hoped he would be able to make his rent. He watched chips shuffle between bad players and was frustrated when he couldn’t get a hand to hold up against them or just never got any cards he could play with. There were nights when he lost more than $300 in one hand.

He knew he wanted a steady job and didn’t want to make a living as a poker player. Although before he moved, he often played on his days off to supplement his income.

There was just too much luck involved for his liking.

Good players lose. Good players get unlucky and sometimes make mistakes worth hundreds of dollars. The daily grind of figuring out your next payday is too much for some.

“I’ve seen thousands of people say they want to be professional poker players,” said poker pro Gavin Smith, who was at Borgata for a tournament in June. “Most of them think they have what it takes, but most have no idea.”

The swings get to most players. One week, they may never lose a hand. However, over the next three weeks, the statistical odds go against them and all the money they made during the past two months is gone.

Those times separate the good players from the bad. The good ones are mentally tough enough to ride out a bad run of cards and know they will eventually get back to winning.

The bad ones give up or go broke and never come back.

“The swings are the hardest thing you’re ever going to deal with in poker,” Simmons said. “If people don’t have discipline and can’t handle their money, they aren’t going to make it. There aren’t many people I would tell them it’s a good idea to play poker.”


Monday, September 27, 2010

TNA Stars at the Taj Mahal for Celebrity Poker Tournament

October 22 – 24, 2010 at Trump’s Atlantic City Taj Mahal: The sensational 9th Annual MMA & Sportsfest.

Joining the almost 100 celebrity athletes, fitness guru’s and entertainment phenoms will be Joe Piscopo. He will be kicking off the week-ends red carpet affair on Friday evening prior to joining The Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament for the benefit of autism research.

SCOTT EPSTEIN, owner and talent coordinator of Publicity Management Services (PMS), a talent booking PR firm invites the public to attend this stellar event. Go to for information.

Under the PMS banner see these recognizable TV sports and entertainment stars:

· NBC American Gladiator “Venom” (Beth Horn), NPC Overall Fitness winner, author and personal trainer

· NBC American Gladiator “Fury” (Jamie Kovac), NPC competitor and “Strongman” winner

· TNA Knockout, Playboy Cover-girl, & WWE wrestler Christy Hemme

· TNA Knockout, Playboy model Tracy Brooks

· TNA Knockout & NPC Bill Grant competitor in the Bikini Division Jackie Hass

Also anxious to meet the public are these beautiful models & professional women’s wrestlers:
· Ryan Shamrock (WWE & WCW)

· Mia St. John (WBC Women’s Champion, fitness author & Playboy cover-girl)

· April Hunter (TNA & NPC, Jr. Nationals competitor)

Proving BIGGER is BETTER, PMS is proud to present:
· WWE Superstar & Hall of Famer “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas

· TNA Superstar, Former Global Champion, 5X “Mr. Wales” Rob Terry.

There will be an opportunity to purchase autographed photos and souvenirs at designated times in “The Octagon”. You can even take back to your home or office a trophy of your own. Have a photo taken with your camera or ours with your favorite celeb.

Scott Epstein tells us: “This thrilling EXPO is more than just a nod to MMA’s spider web of connectivity with weight training, body building, sports, and entertainment. It’s a celebration showcasing the best of the best.


Friday, September 24, 2010

NY native Dwyte Pilgrim wins Borgata Poker Open


Championship Event Attracts Record 1,042 Players; Generates $3.4 Million Prize Pool

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (September 24, 2010) – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa announced today the winner of its record-breaking 2010 WPT Borgata Poker Open which drew 1,042 poker players – the largest turn-out for a Borgata Poker Open championship event and the largest field in the history of the World Poker Tour while generating a prize pool of $3,438,600.

When the dust settled, 28 year-old Brooklyn, NY, native Dwyte Pilgrim emerged as champion, taking down $733,802 and the Borgata Poker Open title. Pilgrim got his start in Atlantic City. He played cash games at the Taj Mahal in 2007 and moved to Harrah's when he focused more on tournaments in 2008.

Pilgrim, who has 20 World Series of Poker (WSOP) cashes for over $450,000 and three gold rings faced a strong field that featured two former WSOP Main Event Champions in Jerry Yang (2007) and Robert Varkonyi (2002), a WSOP Runner-up in Steve Dannenmann (2005) and the third place finisher from 2006 in Michael Binger. Other participants included WSOP Bracelet winners Gavin Smith, Steve Zolotow and Jason Young, as well as actor James Woods.

“It feels surreal right now, a lifetime of hard work was set in stone today,” said the poker pro, who outlasted the record-breaking field, including runner-up, Kia Mohajeri for the win. “I felt I was in a good spot at all times. Even when I was behind, I felt this guy was going to have to get lucky to beat me.”

On the final hand, Pilgrim’s king-high straight trumped Mohajeri’s two pair to give the visibly emotional competitor the title.

“I feel like Babe Ruth,” said Pilgrim, who fell to the floor in tears after he clinched the title. “He struck out a lot, but he also hit a lot of home runs.”

The WPT Borgata Poker Open Championship event will be televised on Fox Sports Net.

To view a recap of the event and results visit and follow all of the action on Twitter @BorgataPoker.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Borgata Poker Open starts off well

The Borgata Poker Open started Wednesday with a $400 Deep Stack Tournament.

As much as people have talked about recessions and bad economies, Borgata poker tournaments never really took a hit. To combat the slow economy, the Borgata lowered the buy-in for the main event over a year ago to $2,000. The main event drew well and so did the other tournaments.

This session is no different. The first event drew 964 players contending for a $73,638 top prize.

MT did get in the event, but was knocked out nine hours into event. AA and KK cracked twice, which we all know leaves a sour taste in your mouth. The hand that got him knocked out was prettier.

MT had pocket Kings. Under the gun open raised to $3,500 with $3,000 worth of ante and blinds in the middle. MT pushed for his remaining $19K. The button called and UTG folded.

MT went heads up against A-10. As the button shows, UTG says he folded AQ and another player mentions how he folded an ace. MT is feeling OK thinking he would be able to double with those odds.

The flop: 10-10-9.

The end.


As always, you can follow the action of the Borgata tournament at The Borgata’s Poker blog.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Borgata Poker Open starts this week

The Borgata Poker open begins Wednesday with a $400 buy-in for a Deep Stack No-Limit Hold ‘Em.

The main event is Sept. 18-23.

MT will be playing in the first event, which seems good based on the buy-in and structure. He doesn’t play in tourneys often, but the last time he played in a deep stack, he lasted unto the second day, but did not cash.

We’re hoping it’s going to be different this time, especially since I am going to be paying his action for half. So, let’s wish him a little luck because a girl like me could definitely use some extra cash.

Anyone else playing in the tournament?

Here's a schedule of the tournament in a pdf file.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Where have I been?

The blog was in some kind of purgatory for the last two months. I couldn't access the blog, but now it is back. For the most part, I've been putting news up on the Twitter account (@pokerinac) because I didn't have any place to put it.

Hopefully, the blog stays in this world and doesn't go over to the next.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Final results Borgata Poker Open: championship event

Here are the final results of the championship tournament of the Borgata Poker Open as posted on the Borgata Summer Poker Open blog.

Entries: 321 Total Buy-In: $642,000

2. MIRZA NAGJI (NEW YORK, NY): $104,620
18. JIA LIU (BROOKLYN, NY): $4,359
19. TYNG LOW (FLUSHING, NY): $3,736

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Billy O'Neil wins Borgata Poker Open

Billy O'Neil won the Borgata Summer Poker Open main championship event just a few minutes ago, the Borgata poker reporters tweeted.

O'Neil won a bracelet, trophy and $180K.

I'll update more later as more information becomes available.

Borgata Summer Poker Open championship final table today

The final table of the championship tournament will conclude today at the Borgata.

Ten players remain to try and collect the $180,595 first place prize.

Here are the chip counts, according tot he Summer Poker Open blog:

Position-Name-Chip Count

1. Steven Curtin 1.459 million
2. Ed Corrado 1.349 million
3. Todd Geddis 1.324 million
4. Billy O'Neil 1.247 million
5. Mirza Nagji 1.136 million
6. Dean Potashner 1.09 million
7. Frank Dellaria 756k
8. John Borzio 686k
9. Michael Melkersen 429k
10. Joshua Hakakian 243k

Sunday, June 27, 2010

They keep growing, and growing, and growing ...

Harrah's has been hit with more lawsuits this month. Four more harrasment litigations against the company have been filed against the company, including some with issue in the poker room. That's 32 lawsuits filed against Harrah's and its sister properties.

The Bridgeton News has an article (link) showing two complaints, one at Harrah's poker room and the other at Showboat's.

Here's what the article states about the complaints at the Showboat:

Another complaint, which includes new defendants, states a female poker room employee at Showboat had been the victim of derogatorycomments about sexual acts supervisors stated she would perform with others.

Supervisors Kellie DeCelis and Hoon Cho are named, among other management officials, in the complaint.

The complaint continues, noting that the alleged victim was ultimately fired while DeCelis received a promotion.

Here is the complaint involving Harrah's poker room supervisor John Arthur:

"Among other things, John Arthur referred to women as wenches, remarked that he carried a ni - stick and that a certain employee was a pole smoker in describing a homosexual," reads the complaint.

The complaints states a shift manager in the poker room who had, among others, sent written and verbal complaints to Arthur as well as management and human resources officials.

However, the shift manager stated he later had problem taking time off work in anticipation of his wife giving birth to triplets and the care she would require in the months following.

The complaint states: "É John Arthur, among other things, stated at one point when the plaintiff explained that his absence was due to his need to transport his wife to and from the hospital, I don't know why you have to take off work; can't your wife just take a cab?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The men are at it again

Back in September, a man beat out a field of 260 women in the Borgata Poker Open to win the ladies tournament (link).

The current version of ladies tourney is going on right now at the Borgata and two men have entered the field.

This is nothing new. During the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, men also entered the field in the ladies tournament. It was a huge debate that many professional gave their opinion on.

Here two blog posts by Annie Duke on the topic: post 1 (where she also links to other posts) and post 2.

What are your thoughts on men playing in events that are geared for women?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Last Chance WSOP Super Satellite at Harrah's tomorrow

Still trying to get into the WSOP Main Event that beings July 5? Harrah's Resorts in Atlantic City is running "Last Chance" satellites to win a seat into the Main Event.

The last super satellites is tomorrow June 19. You can buy straight into the event for $512+$44.

Check here for more information from Harrah's.

Largest Borgata bad beat hit on Thursday

HITS FOR $332,544

Bad Beat Has Hit 52 Times, Paying Out 455 Winners Over $6.7 Million in Prize Money

Atlantic City, NJ (June 17, 2010) – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa paid out the largest Bad Beat jackpot in its history this morning, awarding eight players a total of $332,654.

At exactly 10:00AM on a $1-$2 No Limit Hold’em game, Do Hien’s quad 2’s lost to Blackwood, NJ native Carlo Santos’ straight flush. Santos won the hand and the $66,509 share of the Bad Beat pot; however, it was Do who hit the jackpot, as he collected forty percent of the record-breaking $332,544 Bad Beat prize money. Each of the remaining players who were dealt into the hand received $22,170.

Do Hien, who’s been playing poker since 2003, just had a hunch that something great would happen this morning. “I played yesterday into this morning for twenty hours and was up $1500. I was sitting in my car and had a feeling to go back inside and play some more.”

The winner of today’s record-breaking hand, Carlo Santos, was just trying to win enough money for his buy in to today’s Borgata Summer Poker Open Deep Stack event which began at noon.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Borgata Summer Poken Open results - Event #1

Event 1: $200 + $30 No Limit Hold'em
June 11

Entries: 508 Total Buy-In: $101,600

8. DAO BUI (STERLING, VA): $2,710

Borgata Poker Summer Open

The Borgata Summer Poker Open started Sunday and will run through June 30.

The Borgata always does a great job with updating tournament information and getting results as quickly as possible if you're not at the Borgata.

The Summer Poker Open blog is up and running with updates nearly every few minutes.

Check out the blog here for results and news.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Last Chance WSOP Super Satellite at Harrah's tomorrow

Still trying to get into the WSOP Main Event that beings July 5? Harrah's Resorts in Atlantic City is running "Last Chance" satellites to win a seat into the Main Event.

Harrah's will run daily $58+$12 satellites for three seats into the super satellite, which awards two seats into the Main Event.

The next super satellites is tomorrow June 12. The remaining super satellites is June 19. You can buy straight into the event for $512+$44.

Check here for more information from Harrah's.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Still not done talking about the Taj Bad Beat

When a poker bad beat jackpot is hit, it's immediately reset and starts over again waiting for the next lucky table to claim the prize.

When a bad beat gets to a certain point, the resetting process doesn't hurt that much. For most casinos, 10 percent of the drop is taken out for for reseeding purposes. When the Trump Taj Mahal bad beat opened today - two days after it hit for a record amount - it's still at a respectable amount. The Taj bad beat is at $167,818.

That's not the highest of the casinos. Borgata is at $277,358 and most of the others are in the 100K territory as well.

I wonder what the bad beat chasers are going to do now.

Monday, June 07, 2010

He even got a big check!

The Trump Taj Mahal bad beat was hit on Sunday night ending the largest bad beat in Atlantic City history.

The Press of Atlantic City has an article with a photo of the man holding a large check inside the poker room. I hope he left with it.

The bad beat was quad sevens beat by quad aces in a $2/$4 limit game.

Congratulations to John Bazela who won.

However, the part that struck me was the last paragraph.

But every gambling story has to have one loser, and everyone knows it's not the house.

Shortly before Bazela struck the untraditional jackpot, Beverly Joskowitz, of Bayonne, Hudson County, left her spot at the table to grab a quick bite to eat. Twenty minutes later, she returned to the mob scene around her table. She had missed being a part of history, and more importantly, she was out more than $24,000.

"My stomach went to the floor," she said upon hearing the news. "It's still there. I haven't picked it up yet."

I feel sick for her. That's a terrible way to find out that you lost your share of roughly $24,000. Imagine sitting there for hours on end and then that happened.

I know someone who was sitting on this game and I intend to find out if Joskowitz was given any money by the other players on the game. There have been tables that make a pact with each other that if someone is in the bathroom or grabbing food, they are still going to get their share of the money.

From the sounds of it, this was not that kind of table.

Bad beat finally hit at the Taj

The bad beat jackpot got hit at the Taj Mahal tonight.

I don't have all the details, but I do know it's finally in the books. I'll try to get more info on Monday.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

What if you were this guy?

Imagine sitting in the Taj Mahal poker rooms for hours. Bathroom breaks are kept to a minimum and eating only happens when you know what you have time to make a phone call for takeout. You don't want to leave the game for the possibility of that table hitting the bad beat.

Sadly, this story is true and was told by the dealer on the game.

On Saturday, the bad beat jackpot could have been hit for over $650,000 at the Taj Mahal. It probably should have been hit.

We'll call this man Bob (because Bob is a nice name). Bob had pocket 8's in a $1/$2 no-limit game. While I don't know the exact flop, it's not going to matter. The flop came down with an 8 and two cards to a flush.

Bob bet with his set and was called. The turn brought the third flush card and also created a straight. Bob bet and Player A moved all-in against him. Looking at the board, Bob sees the flush and the straight and decided he doesn't want to lose all his stack with one card to come.

Bob folds.

Player A shows he had straight flush.

Bob says to the dealer: "Let me the next card. Let me see a rabbit."

Dealer: "No rabbit-hunting."
Bob: You don't understand. I had three 8s, I have to see if I would have hit the bad beat."

The dealer relents.

She flips the last card over .... 8.

Poor Bob. that would have $325,000 that would have been all his if he just called on the turn.

Bob went home angry as I am sure the rest of that table did since they missed on a pay day of more than $20,000.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Online poker rooms for NJ residents could be here by the fall

Online gaming portals for New Jersey residents came one step closer on Thursday, The Press of Atlantic City reports.

State senators released a bill that would dictate how intrastate Internet-based gaming would work, including poker. For many New Jersey residents who love to play poker, this would eliminate them from having to drive to Atlantic City taking away potential business from the city's other venues.

Advocates for the bill claim it could generate as much as $250 million a year for the casinos, The Press reports.

Considering this sounds like found money, it's interesting casino officials did not speak on the matter. With the construction of casinos in Delaware and Pennsylvania, Atlantic City is losing customers to those outlying states. This bill has the potential of losing customers within its own state borders.

Some poker rooms that are barely hanging on - Showboat and Bally's - would have a tougher time if they lost more of its regulars from New Jersey.

How do you think this would effect gaming in Atlantic City?

Last Chance WSOP satellite at Harrah's tomorrow

Still trying to get into the WSOP Main Event that beings July 5? Harrah's Resorts in Atlantic City is running "Last Chance" satellites to win a seat into the Main Event.

Harrah's will run daily $58+$12 satellites for three seats into the super satellite, which awards two seats into the Main Event.

The next super satellites is tomorrow June 5. The remaining super satellites are June 12 and 19. You can buy straight into the event for $512+$44.

Check here for more information from Harrah's.

Taj bad beat sets a new record

This morning the Taj Mahal bad beat poker jackpot set a new record when it hit $633,121. According to an official from the casino, it's an American casino record.

The room has been at capacity during peak hours and about 2/3 full at other times. One of the most astonishing things about this bad beat is I heard the wait times aren't very long.

This was unlike Caesars when that grew to over $500K. Wait times were going into the hours rather than the minutes.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Taj bad beat update

As of 9:37 a.m. Thursday morning, the Taj Mahal bad beat jackpot is at $619,758.

Here's an article The Press of Atlantic City did on the the record jackpot.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Is Taj too dangerous to play?

The Taj Mahal has been packed with poker players over the last few weeks trying to hit the bad beat jackpot, which grows by $10,000 or more a day at this point.

But, for regular players in Atlantic City, some just wish the bad beat would already go away. They don't like going to the Taj, but this opportunity is too much to pass up. Over the last two years, there have been major incidents that have made national news at the Taj Mahal.

First, there was the stabbing that happened in the valet after the there was a verbal argument in the poker room over a seat.

Then, there was the shooting of Ray Kot, which was a targeting attack, but scary nevetheless.

Recently, there was the terrible tragedy of Martin Caballero being kidnapped and carjacked from the Taj parking lot and then killed.

These are just the matters that make the news.

Last night, there was another incident at the Taj where an elderly Asian man was assaulted. He was thrown head-first into the podium where he was knocked out until paramedics arrived on the scene, a witness said. The assailant ran out of the room and through the front doors. There was no word if he was caught.

In light of these problems, is a chance at claiming some of the Taj bad beat worth it?

Wanna know the Taj Bad Beat? See for yourself

As of 9 a.m. this morning (Wednesday)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Taj Bad Beat Approaching 600K

The Taj Bad Beat jackpot still has not hit. The bad beat is up for $595K as of 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

This poker bad beat has consumed us here at AC Poker Happenings. The in-house poker player has been there as much as possible ... well, MT is there whenever MT plays. MT doesn't just sit at the Taj in what was called a "zombie horde" last night.

When MT left about 6 a.m. (after starting 9, MT's regular shift), he just shook his head and laughed. MT wants to win the BBJ, but it's about playing the game and taking the winnings you can off the game as well.

Any trip reports from the weekend?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Almost through Memorial Day with bad beat still intact at Taj

Just got word from the Taj Mahal that the bad beat poker jackpot is at $580K, which sets a new Atlantic City record. The room was bombarded all weekend with nearly all 70 of the poker tables filled with those trying to collect bad beat winnings.

With the Memorial Day weekend getaways nearly over, no one was lucky enough to hit that large sum.

To make more money, the Taj should start a pool as to when the bad beat is going to hit.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How much do you want it?

As of 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, the bad beat is at $548,000-plus at the Taj Mahal.

I want in.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Taj bad beat jackpot not yet hit - you still have time

The Taj Mahal bad beat jackpot is up to $526,967 as of 11 a.m. Friday morning.

If this sucker is not hit by tonight, I may head over there myself and check it out.

Who's going this weekend?

Harrington Raceway to start table games today

Here's an article from The Press of Atlantic City. Delaware's Harrington Raceway will begin table games this morning at 10 a.m.

Harrington is the first of the racetrack casinos in Delaware to introduce table games. According to reports, Harrington has a 10-table poker room. Rake is 10 percent up to $5 with a $1 bad beat drop.

Delaware Park (June 19) and Dover Downs are expected to follow soon and some things might be different there. I've heard Delaware Park's rake is 10 percent up for $4. Still, a $1/hand is probably cheaper than gas and tolls heading to AC for Delaware and Maryland players.

The question becomes, how is thing going to effect Atlantic City - and especially the poker rooms since that's what we focus on here. It will take some time to tell.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last chance to qualify for WSOP at Harrah's

Still trying to get into the WSOP Main Event that beings July 5, Harrah;s Resorts in Atlantic City is running "Last Chance" satellites to win a seat into the Main Event starting May 28.

Harrah's will run daily $58+$12 satellites for three seats into the super satellite, which awards two seats into the Main Event.

The super satellites are June 5, 12 and 19. You can buy straight into the event for $512+$44.

Check here for more information from Harrah's.

You still have a shot at the bad beat

Just a friendly reminder, the Taj Mahal bad beat is at $516,753 as of 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Anyone trying to take a shot?

By the way, the Borgata is at $196,227.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Borgata announces Summer Poker Open Schedule

The Borgata released its Summer Poker Open schedule, which runs June 11-30 (But it's not summer yet!).

The Borgata doesn't always have the same schedule for every open. They tweak it based on what the trends are and the customers want. In the last Open, they did away with straight 7-card stud and threw it mixed games. The old-time favorite did make a return this time either. The only time you will see a stud game is during the game HOSE game on June 22.

The tournament now has three Deep Stack events, including a turbo (June 15).

The main event, which starts June 25, is now a $2,000+$20 buy-in, which is a $1,000 less than the Spring Poker Open.

Click here for more information regarding on-site registration and for room rates. Click here for the main event schedule.

We have crossed the 500K threshold

For just the second time in Atlantic City poker history, a bad beat jackpot is at least a half-million dollars.

That's A LOT of scratch.

As of noon on Wednesday, the bad beat at the Taj Mahal is $505,879, growing more than $10,000 since yesterday.

Any one who has gone to play, I would love to hear your trip reports. Either email me or throw them in the comments.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stu Ungar memorabilia (with your Taj bad beat update)

I still collect baseball cards. That might make you want to stop reading, but I fully admit my enjoyable hobby. Occasionally, I'll pick up other types of trading cards and recently 2010 Razor Poker caught my interest.

For the first time that I can recall, Stu Ungar memorabilia cards are included in this set. It's a piece of a jacket he wore in a tournament. In addition, there is a one cut signature in the whole set. Ungar is considered one of the greatest natural poker geniuses.

A box costs roughly $65, depending on where you purchase it from, which includes five packs and one card per pack. Every card in the box is autographed or one of the Ungar memorabilia cards.

Click here and here for the sell sheets for the product.

TAJ BAD BEAT UPDATE: As of 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Taj Bad Beat jackpot is up to $494,335.

I knew people playing their last night and I still heard complaints about bad games. I quote: "Every nit is in town trying to hit this thing."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Taj Mahal bad beat still up there

As of 11 a.m. Monday morning (I have to keep putting the time), the Taj Mahal bad beat jackpot is at $483,816, which is the largest in that casino's history.

The biggest in Atlantic City history was hit at Caesars in January for $553,958.

Will the Taj get closer to the record or will someone finally end the madness?

Press of AC article on Annie Duke

Just wanted to link you guys to the article from The Press of Atlantic City on Annie Duke.

It was a pretty good read. I hope you guys enjoy it.

Poker pro Annie Duke hit Harrah's for satellite tournament

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Taj Bad Beat tops 470K

MT is at the Taj Mahal and has texted me.

As of 9:27 p.m. on Sunday night, the Taj Mahal bad beat jackpot is at $470,015.

He said last night every table was full. The midnight tournament was held in that side room next to the bathroom (Anyone playing in that tourney at this time is crazy). Surprisingly, he said there were a few stud games going last night as well.

The part that struck me interesting was his actual game. Taj has been known to do this, but he was playing his $1-$2 NL hold 'em on a stud game, which meant they could only fit nine people on the game. Additionally, the table was all the way in the back of the room behind the pit, so whenever the game fell a player or two short, they wouldn't get a new player for some time.

While that is normally annoying, it would have worked out if for the other players on the game if the bad beat got hit on the game, which it almost did.

One card away - again.

Limped hand. Flop came A-3-4 of spades. All-in, all-in.

One guy turns over 2-5 spades, the other turns over pocket 4. They needed the four of hearts for their payday.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stars at Harrah's tonight

MT went to Harrah's tonight after taking a break from the Taj Mahal, where the bad beat is up to 441K (as of Friday afternoon).

He said Annie Duke was playing in the poker room, but left around the time he got there, which was around 9 p.m. Accoring to Duke's twitter, she was hitting the low-limit tables.

"Just had a great time playing $2/4 limit hold'em in Harrah's poker room," Duke tweeted. "Lost every hand but most fun I have had playing poker in a while."

MT also said that Allan Meltzer was playing an action-filled $5/$5 no-limit at Harrah's. Meltzer appeared on Season 6 of GSN's High Stakes Poker.

Get to play with Annie Duke this weekend

Harrah's Resort is having its super satellite this weekend and famed poker player Annie Duke will be around for the next two days and players will get an opportunity to play with her.

She will open with remarks for the 6 p.m. satellite (though, I'm not sure she will make it on time from her flight) and host a question and answer session at 8 p.m. in the Harrah's poker room.

On Saturday starting at 11 a.m., Duke will play in cash games in Harrah's poker room. That means any regular folk who play Saturday morning (that does not include me) will get a chance to watch her up close.

This is a rare appearance for Duke on the East Coast. She is based out of Los Angeles and has four kids to raise, so she doesn't get the opportunity to come out.

If you follow Annie Duke on Twitter, you would have seen she almost didn't make it for tonight's events. Around 10 a.m., she wrote: "I may be totally screwed. My flight to Philly is oversold and I think they might not have a seat for me. FML. I have to be to Philly by 6."

Luckily for poker fans, just a few minutes later she wrote: "I got literally the last seat on the plane. Two people got screwd (sic) because there weren't enough volunteers. How do you oversell a plane?" 

Here's the complete Harrah's schedule for the WSOP satellite events.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bad beat means bad games?

MT was at the Taj last night, trying to get a little taste of the bad beat jackpot, which is above 430K on Thursday. The fun part was the two text messages MT sent me saying two times his table was one card away from the bad beat on the flop. So, with two cards to come, the entire table held their breath hoping, praying and willing to get paid the massive sum.

Obviously, it didn't happen.

One thing MT did note was just how boring the games were. Most of the no limit games were full of nits and there was not a lot of action.

I remember when the Bad Beat got ridiculously high at Caesars, the action was still crazy. Caesars has an action-filled room by nature.

The Taj is a good mix. Even as MT walked the room last night looking for a better game, he just couldn't find any.

"There were no big pots on any game," MT said. "Some people had stacks, but you never saw that money moving around."

Perhaps that is just the norm for a Wednesday night, but it should make a poker player question. Hitting a huge jackpot as the one the Taj has going right now would be amazing, but there is still is poker to be played. So, is it worth going to a poker room where the action isn't good?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Taj bad beat getting up there

As of Monday morning, the Taj Mahal poker bad beat jackpot is up to $405,169.

When Caesars was up there, I remember what a madhouse. Being the Taj Mahal it's probably only crazier.

Anyone hit the Taj Mahal this weekend? Got any stories on the craziness of the room?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tropicana changes bad beat requirments

When Caesars’ bad beat jackpot went off $553,958 in January, Atlantic City was in fervor over the heights of the highest bad beat jackpot pay out in the city. It literally took hours for players to get a seat on the games at Caesars while the jackpot grew and people wanted a shot at that money.

Other casinos in the area took notice and have changed the rules to the jackpot in order to grow the jackpot.

Recently, the Tropicana changed the minimum required hand from quad deuces to quad eights. Even though the jackpot recently hit under those requirements, it seems as though the Trop is trying to cash in on the excitement a large bad beat brings in.

Though this isn’t a terrible idea, there are different thoughts here poker players can have.

1. With the requirement so high, why bother playing there when the bad beat could hit at the other casinos with a lesser requirement?

2. Players who dislike the bad beat may enjoy playing at the Tropicana more often because the bad beat has less of an outcome on the hands with bad beat chasers staying out of hands pre-flop.

What do you think of new minimum requirement? Will it change you mind on playing at the Tropicana?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Borgata Deep Stack starts Sunday

Borgata's ever-popular $500,000 Deep Stack Poker Tournament is back. The tourney has a $1.2 million prize pool and begins Sunday and will run through May 19.

Buy in: $1,500 +$150

There will be a $330+$50 qualifier Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Two big bad beats in Atlantic City

At last check, the bad beat at the Taj Mahal is over 315K and Caesars is at 202K.

George Stephanopoulos living it up in Atlantic City

George Stephanopoulos recently spent some time at Harrah's in Atlantic City playing against some of the top poker pros. Even though he is the anchor of Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos wanted something else.

As part of the Living the Dream series, Stephanopoulos went to Atlantic City and played poker with Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth Jr., and other pros.

You can see a video of the segment here.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Alex Queen wins Borgata Spring Poker Open

Alex Queen won the Borgata Spring Poker Open main event just a little while ago, according to the Borgata Poker blog.

The Bethlehem, Penn., resident took down two players with As-7h and won $355K and a Borgata championship bracelet.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

WSOP Satellite today at Harrah's

Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City is hosting a satellite tournaments for the World Series of Poker today at 4:15 p.m

The $516+$44 satellite will have two guaranteed heading to the main event in Las Vegas this summer.

Check out Harrah's site for more information.

Monday, April 19, 2010

WSOP Satellite this weekend at Harrah's

Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City is hosting a satellite tournaments for the World Series of Poker this weekend.

The $516+$44 satellite on April 24 starts at 4:15 p.m., with two guaranteed heading to the main event.

Players can qualify for the satellites with mini-satellites occuring daily. The cost of those tournarments is $58+$12 and go off at 4:15 p.m.

Check out Harrah's site for more information.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First event of Borgata Spring Open is a big draw

The Borgata Spring Poker Open kicked off the event with a $560 deep Stack NLHE with 1,214 entrants. The large field in the Borgata Poker Room.

Next up is the East Coast Championship, a $7,500 buy-in with a guaranteed $500K prize pool.

You can follow all the action on the Borgata's official poker blog. They do a great job of updating throughout the day.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wynn pulls out of Philadelphia casino project

An article moved earlier today that Steve Wynn is pulling out of the Philadelphia-waterfront casino project.

Here's an article on The Press of Atlantic City website.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

WSOP Satellite today at Harrah's

Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City is hosting a satellite tournaments for the World Series of Poker today at 4:15 p.m

The $516+$44 satellite will have two guaranteed heading to the main event in Las Vegas this summer.

There will be other satellites coming up if you cannot make this one on April 24. 

Players can also qualify for the satellites with mini-satellites occuring daily. The cost of those tournarments is $58+$12 and go off at 4:15 p.m.

Check out Harrah's site for more information.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Photo: Revel on the rise

Here's a photo of the Revel Casino rising up. This was taken a few weeks ago before the storm blew out some of the windows.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't forget WSOP satellite tourney this weekend

Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City is hosting a satellite tournaments for the World Series of Poker this weekend.

The $516+$44 satellite on March. 27 starts at 4:15 p.m., with two guaranteed heading to the main event.

Players can qualify for the satellites with mini-satellites occuring daily. The cost of those tournarments is $58+$12 and go off at 4:15 p.m.

Another satellite will also be held April 24.

Check out Harrah's site for more information.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Release: Borgata Spring Poker Open with $1 Million Event



60-Event Tournament Running April 10 – 30

Atlantic City, NJ (March 16, 2010) – Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa announced today details of its first annual Borgata Spring Poker Open to be held Saturday, April 10 through Friday, April 30, 2010. The Borgata Poker Room will feature 110 poker tables for both live action and tournament play throughout the 21-day competition. The sixty-event tournament series will culminate with the $3,500 Borgata Spring Poker Open Championship event (April 25–30), which features two starting dates, 30,000 in tournament chips and offers a guaranteed $1 million prize pool.

The inaugural Borgata Spring Poker Open will feature 26 main events, including Texas Hold’Em No Limit, 6-Hand Max No Limit, H.O.S.E., Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Stud events. The tournament will also be filled with super satellites, survivor, no limit hold’em, and Seniors-only and Ladies-only events.

Borgata will offer online reservations for main events, beginning Monday, March 22 through Wednesday, April 7. On-site registration for all Borgata Spring Poker Open events begins Friday, April 9, in the poker room. To view the event schedule and for more information, please visit or

Borgata has made it convenient for poker players to view a list of current live poker games in action through the online Live Game Report. In addition, Borgata’s Bad Beat Jackpot continues to flourish, having hit five times last week alone. Since its inception in December of 2008, Borgata’s Bad Beat Jackpot has hit 44 times, paying 386 players a total or $5,735,500.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Borgata Deep Stack Tourney on Wednesday

Borgata's ever-popular Deep Stack Tournament is on Wednesday, March 10.

It's a $1,500 Buy-In + $150 Entry with a $30,000 starting chip stack.

Qualifiers ranging from $330+$50 to $165+$35 start Sunday.

Check out the original post we did on the tourney.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

More competition for Atlantic City card rooms

Delaware Park is getting table games ready for this summer. The casino executives hope to get moving and have hired Susan Ciboldi as Director of Tables Games.

In the press release announcing the appointment, COO Andrew Gentile said: "Initially, we expect to feature approximately 40 table games and a 20-table poker room."

He said other things in the release, but this was the only part I focused on. With Philadelphia and Delaware competing for poker players, Atlantic City will have stiff competition. The summertime won't be terrible because I still feel this is an area people will want to enjoy during the peak months.

But what will happen to rooms like the Showboat and Bally's on a Monday in February?

ATLARGE coming back to Atlantic City

The Atlantic City Annual Rec.Gambling Excursion is back in Atlantic City once again from March 12-14 at the Taj Mahal. By the way, that's ATLARGE to you.

ATLARGE originated between friends and Internet users who met on the newsgroup since 1996. The first event was held at Resorts.

For more info on how you can be part of the event, or look at photos from past events, go to

Monday, March 01, 2010

WSOP Circuit at Caesars starting Wednesday

The World Series Poker Circuit tour will make a stop at Caesars Atlantic City starting Wednesday.

The tournament will feature 12 no-limit hold 'em events, including a deep stack, two turbo, a ladies-only and the main event.

Here's a link to the schedule.

There will be two satellites running nearly every day. Starting March 3, an 8-p.m Super Satellite ($560) will run through March 11. On March 8, a Super Satellite ($340) will begin at 4 p.m. until March 11.

Let us know how it goes and leave us any trip reports.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Atlantic City Restuarant Week

Just a little promo of things going on in Atlantic City this week.

Atlantic City is hosting Restaurant Week starting today and running through March 6.

So, if you're in town to play some cards. You might get a chance to hit up some of the restaurants you haven't had a chance to check out before.

Here's a link with more info and participating restaurants.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

WSOP Satellite tournament today

Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City is hosting a satellite tournaments for the World Series of Poker today at 4:15 p.m

The $516+$44 satellite will have two guaranteed heading to the main event in Las Vegas this summer.

There will be other satellites coming up if you cannot make this one on March 27 and April 24. 

Players can also qualify for the satellites with mini-satellites occuring daily. The cost of those tournarments is $58+$12 and go off at 4:15 p.m.

Check out Harrah's site for more information.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Borgata announces Spring Poker Open

There are few details right now on Borgata's website about the Spring Poker Open. However, we have dates, so clear your calendar.

The Spring Poker Open will be from April 10-30 with the main event being another $3,000 + $200 entry fee. There is a  $1 million guaranteed prize pool.

Currently, the Borgata's website is down. So, I can't get much more info.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Karma is a bitch: Winning the bad beat jackpot and still losing

The bad beat jackpot was hit at the Tropicana early Wednesday morning for around 217K.

Quad Qs over Quad 7s.

The person who had the losing hand was described to be a pretty big jerk. On the river when the board was 778QQ and the player with pocket QQ best all, but $3, he asked the dealer for a count.

Three times.

He showboated and finally said, I'm all-in. Making the other person put in their final $3. Pocket QQs guys said, fine, I have a four queens. That's when the table erupted because the other guy had pocket 77s.

However, there is more to the story. Pocket 77s guy was a jerk all night. He threatened to beat up someone who beat him in a pot for about $200. Degraded and mocked people the entire time. He also enjoyed telling everyone how tough he was and lucky he was. He was annoying to say the least.

Here's when the fun starts.

When it was time to get to the cage and collect, pocket 77s walked through the Trop casino floor yelling and screaming: That's right! I won! I told you! God, wants me to be rich. God, wants me to be famous.

He gets to the cashier while two of his friends were with him. A few minutes go by while he is in the credit room and here comes five security guards walking over. They take him out of the credit room without any money. Take him to the poker room to collect his belongings and drop him off at gaming enforcement.

Apparently, pocket 77s guy was in violation of his parole by being in the casino that night. He was not allowed to be there.

His money was seized (all 87K) and he was left with nothing.

Sand Casino in Pa., applies for 89 table games, including 12 poker

The Allentown Morning Call had a breaking news story last night on their website. Sand Casino in Pennsylvania - which is directly competing with Atlantic City's customers - applied for 89 tables games (link).

Almost half of those table games were for blackjack.

Just four tables were for "Texas Hold'em poker tables."

The good news: With just four tables in a casino, customers will deal with long wait lists. Regulars will camp on these games for a while. Anyone who isn't playing poker will want to come to Atlantic City because there are more options, especially on a weekend.

The bad news: Weekday games in Atlantic City will be hurt by these new tables. Four full tables is still 40 people. That's 40 people being taken away from places such as Showboat, Bally's and Harrah's. People who will enjoy this room aren't probably the types that play in big poker rooms. This could certianly hurt some of the smaller rooms in Atlantic City.

Update: After re-reading the article after the first comment left, I think I may be wrong. There is a request for 12 poker tables and I assumed that lumped 3-card, Let It Ride, Caribbean Stud and games like that under one umbrella. However, 3-card poker is specifically mentioned.

So, it seems Sands would have a 12-table room, which is actually pretty good. Not the biggest room, but the only rooms in Atlantic City that regularly run 12 or more games are the Borgata and Taj Mahal.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rumor: Bally's changing Bad Beat Jackpot rules

I've heard a couple of rumors that once the current bad beat jackpot is hit at Bally's (which sits around 220K right now), the casino is changing the requirements.

According to this thread on the Two Plus Two forums, the BBJ will become quad Queens or better to be beat. Then, go down hand-by-hand.

By this account, it seems Bally's is trying to cash in on the craziness that was Caesars a few weeks back. Caesars filled the entire room with NL games and had people waiting on lists for, literally, hours. The BBJ got publicity in the local newspaper and gave some exposure to Caesars.

A high BBJ will draw in a crowd, but with such high requirements, who will be play there?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Need to know now what's happening at the Borgata?

Have you been sitting at home thinking to yourself, I wonder what the Borgata poker room looks like right now?

I often wonder about this for many of the poker rooms and since I am not really a phone person, I don't really care to call up any of the casinos just to ask them how many games they have going. I always feel so weird whenever I ask this question like if the guy at the Showboat gives me bad news then I am going to let him down when he hears the disappointment in my voice.

Borgata has a way to let people know just how their room is doing and the number of going on. They created the digital live game report (link), which is updated throughout the day. Sometimes it take awhile for the latest update to come through, but you get an idea just what you're headed into by the report.

My favorite time is to check it on the weekend. I love looking at the big games.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

World Poker Tour Boot Camp hitting the Trop

The Tropicana will host a World Poker Tour Boot Camp on April 9-10 (link)

The boot camp costs $1,895 and pros include Kathy Liebert, Nick Brancato, Rick Fuller and Nick Binger.

Friday, February 19, 2010

WSOP Satellte Tournaments at Harrah's

Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City is hosting a satellite tournaments for the World Series of Poker. Harrah's is sending 30 players to Las Vegas for the event.

The first $516+$44 satellite is Feb. 27 at 4:15 p.m., with two guaranteed heading to the main event.

Players can also qualify for the satellites with mini-satellites occuring daily. The cost of those tournarments is $58+$12 and go off at 4:15 p.m.

Main satellite will also be held March 27 and April 24.

Check out Harrah's site for more information.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Borgata announces new deep stack tournament in March

From Borgata's website:

Borgata presents Atlantic City's $500,000 Guaranteed Poker Tournament, offering players the unique opportunity to experience a championship-style event structure for a total buy-in of only $1,650. Players will start with 30,000 in tournament chips.

$165 + $35 No Limit Hold'Em
  - Sunday, February 21 at 11AM

$330 + $50 No Limit Hold'Em
  - Sunday, February 28 at 11AM
  - Friday, March 5 at 6PM
  - Saturday, March 6 at 11AM
  - Saturday, March 6 at 5PM
  - Sunday, March 7 at 4PM

$500,000 GUARANTEED DEEP STACK POKER TOURNAMENT$1500 + $150 No Limit Hold'Em

30,000 in Starting Chips
MARCH 7 - 10, 2010
Day 1A - Sunday, March 7 at 11AM
Day 1B - Monday, March 8 at 11AM
Day 2 - Tuesday, March 9 at 11AM
Day 3 - Wednesday, March 10 at 11AM

Monday, February 08, 2010

Going to Harrah's in a handbasket

Harrah's Resort has been hit with a new set of lawsuits. At this point it's only getting comical. Here's a link to the story from The Press of Atlantic City.

In a country where people are innocent until proven guilty, I see the opposite of this.

I knew far too many people who had complaints at Harrah's, spoke to people in human resources and their supervisors, only to see the situation escalate to the point where working conditions were made impossible. I'm not surprised by the latest allegations.

Since this is a blog about poker, I will say this. I've seen the poker room turn from one my favorites to a room I will never walk into again. The majority of the dealers are unprofessional (which reminds of a story I need to tell about my latest trip to Atlantic City), lack any sort of knowledge about poker and do not care about the integrity of the game.

All the good dealers and floor people at Harrah's are slowly leaving. And the ones who were good have given up because they don't see the point in trying anymore.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Snowed in, in AC

Friday afternoon I thought to myself: "Where do I want to spend the blizzard that is going to rip through southern New Jersey?"

I only had one answer - Atlantic City.

So here I am, sitting in the Showboat and it's been interesting 24 hours.

I played at the Taj Mahal last night and for a Friday night, the place was dead. However, there were many people who braves the storm and still showed up to the poker room in the middle of the night. There weren't many, but there were enough people who I thought were either really brave or really crazy. I got to Atlantic City before the snow started to fall.

The Showboat went dark at 5 a.m. this morning to give the dealers and floor people that were already a chance to rest. They got about three to four of sleep and the room is back open.

However, there is no afternoon tournament and they aren't sure if the night tourney is going to go off. All the cashiers have called out, so no one can resgister for tournaments.

Also, the floor people have called in the poker room. Kelly and Julio are here since last night for another 16-hour shift. They will likely go dark at 5 a.m. again tomorrow morning.

Any other news from some other casinos around town?

Friday, February 05, 2010

Pinnacle kills Atlantic City Project (Press of AC)

While not shocked at the The Press of Atlantic City is reporting (link), definitely mad and annoyed.

All I keep thinking about is all those people that lost their jobs because Sands had to be torn down. Pinnacle riddled the city with its ugly billboards and promised a new and grand casino, only to leave an empty pit.

Well, how does Pinnacle answer?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Michael Phelps at the Borgata

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps is competing in today's heads up tournament at the Borgata. He's one of the few notable faces in the field, including poker pro Gavin Smith.

Phelps has only won something like 14 gold medals ... but can he win a poker tournament?

Second round of the heads-up double-elimination event begins at 1 p.m.

Check out the Borgata Poker blog for ongoing updates.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ray Kot tournament prizes won by Taj employees

According to The Press of Atlantic City, the top prizes for the Ray Kot Memorial Fund were won by Taj Mahal employees (link).

Trump Taj Mahal employees swept the top prizes at Sunday night’s Ray Kot Poker Open, which raised money for the family of its namesake, a Taj supervisor shot dead at work last year.

Poker supervisor Victor Chea won first place: a trip to the Super Bowl. Second place, a 50-inch television, went to floor supervisor Frank Fernandez. Dealer Kaylin Vocci won a Super Bowl party for 10 in a Taj luxury suite for finishing third.

Entry fees raised more than $25,000 for the education fund of St. Augustine Prep junior Drew Kot, the only child of Ray and Nancy Kot.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Drunk angle

Last two nights I got a taste of drunks or so-called drunks playing poker in Atlantic City.

On Saturday, there were many more women in the poker rooms because of the women's tournament at the Borgata on Sunday. I started playing at 1 a.m. and left at 4 a.m., and more than doubled up. There were three women on the game, besides myself, at the Showboat.

All drunk.

All looking to give away money.

Sunday was more interesting because there was a guy at Caesars with a cup for over three hours. The entire time he spoke about how drunk he was, meanwhile, his cup of ice turned into sludge as he supposedly drank Hennesey and Red Bull (ugh!).

It was funny though because he kept trying pretend was drunk and looking for a crazy angle.

And, the people on the table believed him.

I love drunks. Real drunks. Not the goofy dudes who try to pretend they are.
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